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predator = hunter

When I was in Taranaki, I found that I was changing the word predator to the word hunter.

Strangely, I find myself having to explain this word often!

In common usage a predator is an animal that lives by killing and eating other animals.

This is part of the natural order as in the statement ‘the population of rabbits is controlled by natural predators.’ (which they aren’t in NZ – of course)

In the game, and in NZ, the word predator has a different usage. It is also used to describe a species that has a significant impact on a bird species. As in ‘kiore caused many historical extinctions of forest & sea birds’

Here, the new hunters changed everything.

If you look at the booklet that comes with the game you will find more predator / hunter information.

in the game kiore help hunt to extinction huia, matuhi (bush wren), piopio, koreke (NZ quail), tutukiwi (snipe), & adzebill

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some interesting questions

The following interesting questions have come through from Lesley, this week.

I have questions that don’t seem to be covered in the instructions.

1) Can cards be transferred from the hand to the cloak at any time? Can they also be transferred back?

2) When then initial 5 cards are dealt, does this constitute the first row of the cloak, or are they the initial hand?

3) Does the cloak need to be built row by row (as you would if you were really weaving) or can the cards be placed anywhere in the cloak?

Reply / Jil says:

Everything can be moved at any time. The Cloak is not finished (woven) until all cards are laid out into the shape. When I first teach the game, we lay out a Cloak as we play. But as players get more experienced they get quite adept at hiding cards in the open ie not putting a complete cloak together until the last moment.

Also the initial 5 cards are just the initial hand – some may be used anywhere in your cloak, some may be used for trading, and some may be eaten by a predator.

Hope this helps. tnxs for the questions.

Lesley says:

Thanks for the answers. Just one follow-up question, do the predators take cards from both the cloak and the hand?

Reply / Jil says:
Thanks for these questions. Yes, the predators take cards from both the cloak and the hand. This makes people look very carefully at their hand (& at other people’s) before they decide on an action – to sacrifice the birds, to use a god, to use their Pandora & give it to someone else.

Other news: Drew has chosen Te Ra School, Raumati South, Kapiti Coast, to receive a game. This is a great choice as parents from the school have been purchasing the game, but the school itself has not had a copy! These choices are proving very interesting for me!

Meanwhile, birds on Kapiti Island (5km off-shore my beach) “one of New Zealand’s most important nature reserves” are thriving. Including hihi, the stitchbird. Conservation Department staff now believe (that after a 3-year programme) the island is now free of stoats.

In Cloak of Protection hihi gets eaten by ship rat + stoat

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board game geek

I’ve listed the game on board game geek. The wonderful people there kept rejecting my description of the game & making me re-write.

The rewritten, rewritten, rewritten, version is now up on our Cloak of Protection page and on our BUY page. What do you think – is it now worth the 4 gold coins it was finally given??

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at Expressions Gallery, Upper Hutt

In the 9 months we’ve had the game on the market, we’ve had extra-ordinary support from galleries in the greater Wellington region.

The Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, launched us + had an exhibition of Morgan’s outstanding illustrations for the game. Now the same exhibition is on at Expressions Gallery in Upper Hutt.

They’ve made up an amazing booklet ‘how the game was created‘, which shows the steps I took (over nine years). And we’re playing the game! This Wednesday 3, Thursday 4, and next Thursday 11 October.

If you’re any where near Expressions, please pop in and join us in playing the game OR come see Morgan’s exhibition – running until Sunday 11 Nov.

A BIG thankyou, from both Morgan & myself, to the Mahara & to the Expressions Gallery. Your support has been essential.

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at the launch

Here we are in Te Whanganui a Tara, celebrating the Enviroschools Community. It is the launch of the partnership between Enviroschools Wellington & Cloak of Protection.
Four students + a teacher, came from Kapanui School to help teach the game. Here I am explaining some of the rules, while one person works with each group of 4. It all went very smoothly. What a great day! A big thankyou to my fabulous helpers – students Callum, Marie, Bailey and Leah, and teachers Wendy & Nicola.

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Pandora – should she have a new power?

My friends Jan & Neil have sent me the following feedback..

“Sometimes the game is too long and the longer you play the harder it is for anyone to win….”

There are a couple of strategies, within the rules, that help:

1.     Instead of a pick-up from the undealt pile, you can pick up all the cards (including gods or Pandoras) – down to a predator – from the discard pile.  You must put down a god instead.  Make sure people always put down the predator/s first, then their prey etc on top

2.         When you make one row with the same numbers  – if the game is getting difficult to win – you could use a god of that realm, instead of a number card.

But, there is a suggestion, from my friends, that Pandora could have another use.

In Greek legend Pandora, as the first woman, was Gaia in human form.  Both are red nature ‘tooth & claw’.  Like Gaia, Pandora was the giver of gifts, both the good and the bad, both those we want and those we really hate.  What we think of the gift, is not their problem!

Maybe the Pandora card could be used, not only to pass on a predator, but could also be used to raid a bird card from someone else?

Do you like this idea? Do you think it would it make a difference in lengthy games?

Post feedback OR do our poll..